What if - R2800 Powered Skyraider in 1942?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by syscom3, May 6, 2010.

  1. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Your thoughts. Can it be done?

    Theres nothing too complicated about the Skyraider airframe. It could have easily been designed in 1941. The R-2800 was available in 1941 so that would not be a show stopper.

    Compare the R-2800 to the R-3350 that was installed on the Skyraider in 1945. Both are of the same approximate weight, diameter and horsepower.

    You think the Skyrider could have been combat ready in 1942 with a proven capability to carry a payload of 4000 lbs? I know the R2800 was quite thirsty for fuel, but if you're only talking about a 300 mile combat radius, perhaps this is not a factor.

    R-2800
    * Power output: 2,100 hp (1,567 kW) @ 2,700 rpm
    * Specific power: 0.75 hp/in³ (34.1 kW/L)
    * Power-to-weight ratio: 0.89 hp/lb (1.46 kW/kg)
    * Diameter: 52.8 in (1,342 mm)
    * Dry weight: 2,360 lb (1,073 kg)
    R-3350
    * Power output: 2,200 hp at 2,800 rpm (takeoff power)
    * Specific power: 0.66 hp/in³
    * Power-to-weight ratio: 0.82 hp/lb
    * Diameter: 55.78 in (1,420 mm)
    * Dry weight: 2,670 lb (1,212 kg)
     
  2. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    while not a show stopper the 2100HP R-2800 was not available in 1941, it (or what would turn into it) was being worked on but production examples would not show up until 1944.

    First versions of the Skyraider used a 2300hp R-3350 according to one source.

    Four 2000hp single stage R-2800s were built in 1941, two each by P&W and Ford although in Jan of 42 P&W delivered 220 and Ford 36 with production increasing until by June P&W delivered 465 and Ford 530.

    I don't think there was much to choose between the two engines for fuel consumption at similar power settings.

    You have cut the bomb load by 33% (2000lbs) but is it enough to compensate for the 15% drop in power?

    20% if you get stuck with the 1850HP "A" series engines going into B-26s:)
    But you probably could swipe the engines for the Lockheed Ventura and Get the 2000hp "B" versions.
     
  3. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    Why, Syscom3 ...?

    What does it buy you. The Navy/Marines have Corsairs - the Sky Raider won't/can't replace those in the pure fighter role - and the Corsairs (as Korea proved) were more then adequate in the ground support role. One advantage of the Douglas machine is range/loiter time, but, I don't think that was as important to the Navy in WW2 as it turned out to be in Korea and VN.

    Just my $0.02 :)

    MM
     
  4. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    I'd like to see Grumman TBF (Avenger) with R-2800, but that would've been only 150 hp increase in 1942. 300 HP more in 1943 - decent. If we want only one crew member, the weight savings would've been considerable, ditto for all performance categories.

    I just love both pieces of hardware - R-2800 Avenger :D
     
  5. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The weight savings aren't quite as much as you think, and it was tried although crudely. One Prototype FTBF-1 was built in 1942. Turret removed and opening and greenhouse faired over, a faring placed below the Fuselage to help streamlined the lower gun position but an extra .50 cal was added to each wing. The converted plane weighed 100lbs less than a standard one (empty or loaded is not stated) and was 10mph faster.

    One TBF-1 was supposed to fitted with the engine and prop from a Hellcat but a Martin twin .50 turret was also fitted. The Turret was tested but the engine may never have been installed.

    I would suggest the Book "U.S. experimental Prototype Aircraft Projects , fighters 1939-1945" by Bill Norton to you. In spite of the title it does cover Navy and Army single engine attack planes or bombers. You might disagree with his opinions or the conclusions the U.S. Forces came to about a particular project but there are quite a few little known projects given coverage and a lot of photographs of the lesser known versions.
     
  6. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    The Vought XTBU Sea Wolf was a torpedo bomber with the R2800 engine. It reportedly had a Vmax of more than 300 mph and was more heavily armed than the Avenger. Because Vought was unable because of other programs to produce the Sea Wolf, Consolidated Vultee was selected to produce it but only 180 or so were built before VJ day.
     
  7. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Did that FTBF-1 have 4 HMGs total, or 1 x LMG + 2 x HMG?
    Those 100 lbs of weight savings are pretty lame; the 2 crew members their gear (absent from such a plane) would've yielded another at least 500 lbs for 'loaded' weight. But than, it depends if it was one hasty conversion, or a more throughout one.

    FTBF-1 = fighter, torpedo-bomber, Grumman, 1st?


    Will try to make a sketch of such a plane :D
    Thanks for the hint; I especially liked this:
    You might disagree with his opinions or the conclusions the U.S. Forces came to about a particular project
    :D
     
  8. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    A Skyraider that was carrier qualified in 1942 would replace the SBD. Remember, the Corsairs were not operating on carriers untill 1944.

    The SDB had a payload of 1000 lbs. A Skyraider with a payload of double to quadruple that would have been an interesting addition to the fleet.
     
  9. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    #9 Shortround6, May 6, 2010
    Last edited: May 6, 2010
    I think 4 HMGs.

    Edit: wrong-----from rereading the description and going by the date the plane was built it is more likely the 1 x LMG + 2 x HMG combination.
     
  10. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    #10 Shortround6, May 6, 2010
    Last edited: May 6, 2010
    That is what the SB2C was for :lol:

    First ordered May of 1939.
    First flown in Dec 1940

    and backed up by the Brewster Buccaneer program with a prototype order April of 1939.

    Douglas was working on the XSB2D-1 Destroyer at the beginning of 1941 and was given a contract for two prototypes on June 30 1941.
     
  11. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    Point taken, Syscom3. However I think the Navy had high hopes for the Curtiss SB2C which was already in production and had double the payload of the SBD with the advantage of internal stores capacaity. While we know the the Hell Diver turned out to be a touch problematic :)-)) the bugs did get worked out and it proved to be a useful system for both the US Navy and the French Navy.

    Deploying the Sky Raider in '42 would have beeen interesting - no doubt - but it surely would have been the heaviest carrier-based aircraft. Late deployment of the Corsair on US carriers was more a factor of "need/lack of need" than fault with the system. The Royal Navy deployed Corsairs much earlier than 1944 - but they were badly needed so necessity became the mother of invention - in this case lowering the oleo strut pressure on the landing gear.

    The Sky Raider is, I believe, an unknown in the area of dive bombing - a tactic that had become unused by the Korean war, but in 1942 (dive bombing) was the most accurate tactic Navy fliers had and the SBD was probably the best at that tactic.

    So Sky Raider in '42 - interesting, yes, but not the priority platform for those much needed big radial engines.

    War Office priorities usually shut down most "what if" speculations IMHO :)

    Chairs,

    MM
     
  12. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    First operations by RN by Corsairs was December, 1943. Corsairs actually operated from US carriers, unofficially, in the Pacific on November 11, 1943 during the Battle of the Solomon Sea.
    An interesting point, to me, about the Pacific War is that the war began on 7 December, 1941, and ended on September 2, 1945. One could say then that the Pacific War lasted 45 months. I, along, I am sure, with many others on this forum think about Hellcats as the principal carrier fighter and Corsairs as the principal land based fighter for the Navy and Marines in the Pacific. That is true, as far as sorties, kills and bombs dropped. However, for the first 20 months of the war, almost half of the war and certainly the most difficult part of the war, the lowly Wildcat was, practically speaking the only Navy carrier fighter and for the first 15 months of the war, a good bit more than a third of the total war and again the most difficult part, that same Wildcat was practically speaking the only land based Navy and Marine fighter in action. The Hellcats and Corsair were the glamour boys but the Wildcat held the line and did the dirty work until the glamour boys could get ready.
     
  13. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    Great post, renrich! Of course, when you say the Wildcats held the line, you are including the well trained and highly motivated Navy and Marine pilots that milked 110% of the capabilities out of those great aircraft.
     
  14. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Similiar to how Finns performed with P-36 Hawk and AVG with P-40.
    Training - tactics - motivation
     
  15. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Dav, absolutely you are correct. Without those well trained and highly motivated pilots the Wildcat would have, no doubt, never have had the battle record it had. Speaking of well trained, my arithmetic is not very well trained. The 15 months the Wildcat served alone as a land based fighter is exactly one third of the total Pacific War, not a good bit more than a third.

    Perhaps a thread could be developed( if it has not already been developed) about the most important aircraft in the PTO during WW2 for the Allies. If the thread was for any combatant in the Pacific War, the A6M would be a good candidate but if for the Allies only, the Wildcat would have to rank near the top.
     
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